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Passata recipe

Carlton Boyce / 01 February 2017

Use this passata recipe to create a versatile tomato sauce that can be used as it is or as the base for other recipes.

Passata can be used as is or form the base of a wide range of recipes

Cooking time

30 minutes




  • 2kg tomatoes
  • 200g shallots or small onions
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic
  • Small handful of your favourite herbs like rosemary, basil, or oregano
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbs granulated white sugar
  • 50ml olive oil
  • A couple of glugs of balsamic vinegar


1. Chop the tomatoes into evenly sized chunks or slices.

2. Slice the shallots or onions thinly and peel and slice the garlic cloves.

3. Lay the herbs on the base of an oiled baking tray. Place the tomatoes, shallots, onions and garlic on top and drizzle with the oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and pepper.

4. Roast in a 180°C oven for an hour or so until they’re soft and unctuous.

5. Remove from the oven and remove any woody pieces of herb. Then whizz in the food processor until the mixture is smooth.

6. Pass through a sieve to remove any seeds or bits of tomato skin or stalk.

7. Check the seasoning and then pour the still-warm mixture into hot, sterilised jars. Tighten the lids well.

8. Stand the jars in a large saucepan and cover with warm water. Slowly bring it to the boil and simmer for fifteen minutes to sterilize everything properly.

9. Leave to cool before checking that all the lids are now depressed. If any aren’t, you’ll need to use that jar of passata within the next couple of days. Otherwise they will keep in a cool, dark place for months.

Serving suggestion

Serve as it is on pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese or use it as the base for the most fantastic spaghetti bolognese you’ve ever eaten.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.